Skip to Content

How To Dye Burlap Fabric

Your craft projects are about to take on a whole new level of awesome! Learn how to dye burlap any color that you could possibly want with this simple step by step tutorial using Rit Dye.

How to color burlap/jute fabric/material. lifeshouldcostless.com
How to dye burlap. lifeshouldcostless.com

I don’t know about you, but I can rarely find burlap in the exact color that I want for crafting. Especially since I moved to a much smaller town, the one “big” craft store we have out here is really limited in their selection of colors.

I’m not about to pack up all four kids and make a special trip into the city, go through the headache of dragging those kids through all the different stores, just to see if I can find the color that I’m looking for.

Whick leaves me with the option of either buying my dyed burlap online (which it’s hard to tell if the color will be right just from a picture on the screen) OR trying to create it myself.

I’ve been dying it myself for years now, so I decided that “how to dye burlap” needed a post of its own with a bit of instruction for all of my fellow crafters out there.

I needed to dye some burlap for a wreath that I’m working on currently, so I thought I’d share how I do it with you while I was already at it.

Now to teach you how to dye/color burlap fabric.

*I will have a free printable “how-to” card below the instructions so that you can print it out and use it for future reference if you would like.*

Start with clean, WHITE BURLAP. If it’s already bleached out, it is going to give you a much truer color than it is if you start with the standard light brown/natural color that burlap normally is. It’s the same concept as why your stylist will bleach out your hair before they try to do a different color.

Then you cut the burlap down to a few inches larger that you are going to need on all sides. It frays during the dying process so you’ll want to account for that.

Make sure that you’re not just buying white burlap. Often times burlap can be painted white and that will not work. You can tell whether or not it’s been painted white by the texture of it. Give it a good feel and if it feels like it has a coating on it, it’s not the right thing. If it feels more like regular burlap but just a little softer, it’s the right thing.

You can also ask someone in the fabric store to help you find some Burlap that is bleached white if you are questioning yourself.

Here is what the correct white burlap looks like:

Dying burlap best tutorial. lifeshouldcostless.com

I don’t have a utility sink (which is the ideal tool for this projects) so I use a bucket for this part…so sorry that it kinda makes this tutorial look ghetto AF:), but I did my best with what I had.

Fill a bucket with about 1.5 Gallons of HOT WATER.

Put the burlap into the water then add:

½ Cup Salt

Stir well, then add:

5-6 Caps Full of liquid Rit Dye in your color of choice.

Stir well to dissolve the salt, and let sit in dye for 30-45 minutes. Stirring occasionally so that it dyes evenly. Make sure after each time you stir that all the fabric is submerged, also so that it dyes evenly.

Obviously if you want it a lighter color you use less dye and for darker you would use more. Also, adjust the time accordingly…for darker let it soak in the dye longer, and for lighter let it sit for less time.

I’ve found that 6 caps full of liquid Rit Dye (per 1.5 gallons of water)will usually get it pretty close to the exact color that is on the bottle of Rit.

If you want to do some crazy color, make sure that you consult the Rit Dye chart on their website, Rit has a pdf you can download if you go here. They list how much of each color you need to create any color you can think of (I think there are about 500 different color options there).

This should be a good base to show you what ratio’s of each color to use to create whatever color. If it comes out too dark, rinse it out in HOT water until it lightens up a bit. When you’re happy with the color, rinse in COLD water until the water runs clear.

Burlap dying tutorial with rit dye. Get it the exact color you're looking for.

Hang to dry. I use my handy drying rack, you can get the newer version of mine on Amazon, here, if you need to buy one…I love mine!

*Remember that it’ll be a few shades lighter in color once it is dry*

You may want to put a towel down or put your drying rack in the bath tub so that you don’t accidentally dye your carpet if you didn’t quite rinse it well enough.

Even if it’s already dried, and you decide it’s too dark, you can still rinse some of the color out of it with HOT water and then just dry it again.

The dyed burlap dries pretty wrinkly, so you’ll need to iron it. Also, cut off the frayed/shaggy ends and it’s ready to use for your project!

Like I said before, the color possibilities are endless with this method of dying burlap… if you must use regular brown jute burlap, it’s going to come out a darker/muted version of whatever color you are trying to go for, so if you can make sure to start out with white and you won’t be sad with the results.

It’s pretty easy, just a little time consuming. I try to do it while the kids are either asleep or preoccupied so that we don’t have a dye mishap.

How To Dye Burlap Fabric With Rit Dye

Burlap dying tutorial.

Your craft projects are about to take on a whole new level of awesome! Learn how to dye burlap any color that you could possibly want with this simple step by step tutorial using Rit Dye.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate
Estimated Cost $20-30

Materials

  • White Burlap (bleached)
  • Hot Water
  • Liquid Rit Dye
  • Salt
  • Towels

Tools

  • Utility Sink or 2 Gallon Bucket
  • Large Spoon
  • Drying Rack

Instructions

How To Dye Jute:

  1. Start with clean, WHITE (bleached) BURLAP.
  2. Then you cut the burlap down to a few inches larger that you are going to need on all sides. It frays a bit during the dying process so you'll want to account for that.
  3. Fill bucket or utility sink with approximately 1.5 Gallons of HOT water.
  4. Add the white burlap to the water submerging it completely.
  5. Add 1/2 Cup of Salt, Stir Well.
  6. Add 5-6 Caps Full of liquid Rit Dye, stir well.
  7. Push the fabric down, under the water line, so that it stays completely submerged.
  8. Stir occasionally, and let the fabric sit in the dye for 30-45 minutes.
  9. When desired color is reached, rinse in cold water until the water runs clear.
  10. Hang to dry.
  11. Iron.
  12. Cut off frayed edges.
  13. Now use your perfect shade of burlap fabric for whatever your craty little heart desires.

Notes

Obviously if you want it a lighter color you use less dye and for darker you use more. Also, adjust the time accordingly...for darker let it soak in the dye longer, and for lighter let it sit less time.

I've found that 6 caps full of liquid Rit Dye (per 1.5 gallons of water)will usually get it pretty close to the exact color that is on the bottle of Rit.

If you want to do some crazy color, make sure that you consult the Rit Dye chart on their website, Rit has a pdf you can download if you go here. They list how much of each color you need to create any color you can think of (I think there are about 500 different color options there).

This should be a good base to show you what ratio's of each color to use to create whatever color. If it comes out too dark, rinse it out in HOT water until it lightens up a bit. When you're happy with the color, rinse in COLD water until the water runs clear.

*Remember that it'll be a few shades lighter in color once it is dry so plan accordingly.*

When using a drying rack, you may want to put a towel down or put your drying rack in the bath tub so that you don't accidentally dye your carpet if you didn't quite rinse it well enough.

Even if it's already dried, and you decide it's too dark, you can still rinse some of the color out of it with HOT water and then just dry it again.

*One last tip, for dying burlap your desired color…You may want to wear gloves so that you don’t get dye stained skin. Also note that, some people think that you shouldn’t used iodized salt when dying fabric, but I haven’t had a problem using it.*

How to color burlap jute fabric/material. lifeshouldcostless.com

*One last tip, for dying burlap your desired color…You may want to wear gloves so that you don’t get dye stained skin. Also note that, some people think that you shouldn’t used iodized salt when dying fabric, but I haven’t had a problem using it.*

That’s all I have to share about dying burlap…it’s more of an intermediate crafter level project, but it can be rather exhilarating to personalize your crafts to literally whatever color you desire!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! If you liked what you saw, please make sure to share it via social media or even send the link to friends/family via email! Either way, I really appreciate it!~Sarah

Oh, don’t forget to subscribe to my email list (found here). Also, if you would like to learn how to follow along or really show your support for this blog, go here.

P.S. You may also like my entire Crafts section, so make sure to check it out.

Here are several of my other craft projects that you may like too:

For those of you that would like another option for a “pinnable” image on Pinterest, here you go…thanks again so much for the support!

Can you dye burlap fabric? Here's how. lifeshouldcostless.com
How to color burlap fabric with rit dye. lifeshouldcostless.com

*Updates: Please note that this idea/post was originally posted to this website on 02/02/2015 but it was in great need of a refresh so it now is more user friendly/shareable and has a free printable “how-to” card.

Previous
Slow Cooker Chocolate Cherry Dr Pepper Dump Cake
Easy tinnitus relief. lifeshouldcostless.com
Next
How I Healed My Tinnitus
Comments are closed.